A Spirit Guided Interpretation of 2Kings 2
24 Apr 2011
The Bible is an amazing creation, but in every story and in every instance that we are asking God for truth we must remember what he has already taught us concerning the Bible and how we need to understand it. Each Bible story has a meaning for us today in our own very lives. If it didn’t have significant meaning for us today, what would be the purpose of the story? Just to tell about something God did for someone else years ago? If assume it is just a story, we will miss the complete picture. We need to be open to the idea that all the stories of the Bible have a deeper message other than the literal words. The Bible is alive, breaths life, and has meaning for us as individuals today, and we should treat it as such. We can ask the question, did this story really happen? We may not know for sure. We can argue amongst ourselves about whether the story is a historical documentation or whether it is just a story or parable for alternate interpretation. But if we argue, we have missed the point of what God wants us to know and believe. However, if we only believe the stories of the Bible are a historic representation, we might believe that people can be literally taken up to “heaven” in a tornado, as in the story of Elijah. And if we look at it as a history lesson, we risk missing the explanation of how we really are transported to be with God, and how we too can abide with God, now, without a literal storm event.
The Bible is written so that it has reference for us today, and each part can be applied to us as individuals learning from God. As we answer the question concerning the story in 2Kings, we will look at various other scriptures in the Bible that help us see a larger picture concerning Elijah and the whirlwind.
The Location of Heaven
The Kingdom of God
The Bible teaches us where “heaven” is located.
The “Kingdom of God” and “Kingdom of Heaven” are very similarly used in the Bible and most likely the exact same thing. These two phrases are used interchangeably in the gospels. The kingdom of heaven is used more in Mathew, where the “kingdom of God” is used more in the other gospels. However, when you study these gospels it is clear that these two terms have the same meaning. For example Matthew 10:7 says “as ye go, preach, saying, the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Mark 1:15 says “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand. Luke 21 also says “when ye see the things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand”. In order determine where heaven is located according to the Bible, we are considering the use of the word heaven and considering the Kingdom of Heaven and Kingdom of God to be the same. We are also considering that each gospel simply uses one or the other phrase depending on who wrote the book. The word kingdom in these gospels means royal power or the territory subject to the rule of a king. When you look at the use of the word heaven in the gospels and look at its Greek meaning, it refers to where God abides or lives. This includes the use of the word heaven in the phrase Kingdom of Heaven and in other places without the word kingdom in front of it. The Bible says we are to strive to enter into the “kingdom” whether it be the kingdom of “God” or “heaven”.
Heaven represents our promised kingdom, where God resides. It is a place we look “up” to behold. However, we will continue in order to determine if that word “up” represents a physical location up in the sky or is a place simply “higher” than our current vision, symbolically speaking.
Entrance to Heaven, Saved from Hell
One common thought is that heaven or hell is only somewhere we go after we physically die. But the Bible does not say one has to die physically to enter into “heaven”, or the kingdom of heaven. It also does not say ones needs to die physically to be in hell. Jesus does teach a parable (a dark saying) in Luke 16 where there is a rich man that dies and goes to hell, and there is also a poor man (beggar) who dies and goes to Abraham’s bosom. In the stories of Jesus, he is typically teaching in parables because these stories are a good way to portray God’s ways. A story or parable is told so that people can relate to the story, but the true intended message of a parable is usually always hidden and obscured within the story itself. 2000 years ago (and even today), it was a very common teaching that hell and heaven were only places people go only after they die physically, not something to be feared or hoped for in this physical life. In the parable about the rich and poor man in Luke 16, the common perception of hell and heaven being a place after physical death, is utilized to help tell a parable. The story is told to give us a deeper understanding about death, which does not necessarily mean physically dying. To understand the parable, the death in this parable should be seen and understood as a spiritual death, not physical. Some people may argue this parable is the proof that heaven and hell are places we go after physical death. And people could possibly argue this only because this parable is the only known story in the Bible that references heaven and/or hell as somewhere we go after death. However, this parable could be talking about a spiritual death and not a physical death, simply because it is a parable. Parables are dark sayings and are representations of higher more spiritual messages, or a message about something other than the story itself. In this parable, Lazarus is a beggar with sores who desires the food of the rich man. If we are looking at this parable literally, being poor (i.e. lacking material things on earth, or being a beggar), would not make him qualified to go to Abraham’s bosom, or to heaven for that matter. And simply being a rich man (i.e. having material things on earth) would not qualify one to be tormented with flames. Those things about the story would in themselves be a contradiction to other scriptures about God’s love for us, and how he intends for us to have good things in this life. But the parable is only contradictory, if the story is interpreted literally. So this simple logic tells us that the parable should not be interpreted literally, but rather symbolically. The story does not literally tell us why the rich man went to hell or the why the poor man went to heaven. We have to look deeper the find the reasons, and then we can determine the meaning of the story. And we are able to do this because we use the fact that the Bible should not contradict itself, if it is the truth. To dissolve these “surface” contradictions, we search the rest of the Bible for answers.
Luke 12: 29 And seek not ye what ye shall eat, or what ye shall drink, neither be ye of doubtful mind. For all these things do the nations of the world seek after: and your Father knoweth that ye have need of these things. But rather seek ye the kingdom of God; and all these things shall be added unto you.
Luke 12 says that you should not worry about material things because if you are seeking the kingdom of God you will have all the material things as a type of bonus. We typically do not desperately seek a kingdom now thinking we can’t enter it until physical death. That would be like seeking physical death. We would not seek it very hard, unless we were willing to physically kill ourselves to obtain it. But we are told we need to seek the kingdom now so we can gain the kingdom now. Thankfully, physically killing ourselves is absolutely NOT the way to gain entrance now.
Prov 13:7 There is that maketh himself rich, yet hath nothing: there is that maketh himself poor, yet hath great riches.
Ecclesiastes 5:19 Every man also to whom God hath given riches and wealth, and hath given him power to eat thereof, and to take his portion, and to rejoice in his labour; this is the gift of God.
The whole chapter of Proverbs 13 is good to read concerning being rich in material things. Ecclesiastes 5 says that riches and wealth with the power to eat of it is a gift from God. God does not desire for us to be literal beggars. There are many more scriptures that speak of enjoying life’s abundance as being what God wants for us in this life and not a life of lack of needful material things in anyway. He says he will take care of those things for us if we seek him. The scriptures above are shown here to help explain why the parable about the rich man and beggar Lazarus needs to be looked at carefully. This is a parable, a message concerning the “rich” and the “poor” in life (spiritually speaking not materially speaking) and the relationship between them. Because the rich and poor needs to be looked at spiritually, the deaths spoken of in this parable can very well be a spiritual interpretation as well. If one part of the parable is spiritual, the rest should be also spiritual. It appears as if the Bible is using this parable to provoke thoughts on a few different levels: One, to teach people about being “poor” and “rich”, spiritually speaking, and that relationship to hell and heaven; two, to reflect on deep messages about the wide gap of understanding that separates those that are in hell and those that are in heaven; three other messages concerning resurrection and other things that need to be kept for another discussion; and four to cause a twisting of our understanding about hell and heaven and what they represent to us. The more this parable is studied the more convincing it becomes that Jesus is not talking about physical death and/or literal places we go after physical death. There is need for a twisting of our understanding, which this parable is intended to cause, for those who will look closely with an open mind. So by using a very common, but possibly shallow understanding people have about heaven and hell, a story is told that helps to reverse that understanding. The in depth study of this parable is for another discussion, but it was mentioned to help begin the discussion on heaven and hell. And this parable was mentioned because this is the only known discussion as death being a prerequisite to entrance to heaven or hell, but it can be shown this death is spiritual not physical.
Psalms 86:13 For great is thy mercy toward me: and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell.
Psalms 139:8 If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there.
The prayer of David above says that he was saved from the lowest hell. And Psalms 139 says that where ever he goes, heaven or hell, God is there guiding him.
Proverbs 15:24 The way of life is above to the wise, that he may depart from hell beneath.
We have to choose to depart from hell and rise to the life above. And we do this in the here and now. If hell was some eternal place we go after physical death, how could we be delivered from the lowest hell as it says in Psalms 86? These Psalms and Proverbs are talking about our lives here on earth and the method in which we may depart from hell beneath, after we are already there.
Amos 9: 2 Though they dig into hell, thence shall mine hand take them; though they climb up to heaven, thence will I bring them down:
Here is Amos 9 is speaks of someone “digging” into hell. As if they are digging a hole to try and get into it. In Proverbs 15 above it infers that hell is beneath us. It is the “low” or deep in the earth. So hell is referred to as being down in the ground. So if we are in hell it could be seen as if we are hidden from the sunlight and it is darkness. Take notice in the parable in Luke 16 that Jesus told of the rich man and the beggar. When the rich man died he was “buried”, but when the poor man died it says nothing of him being buried, but he was carried by the angles. This is very important to take note of. Going to hell is a going down, a sort of burying within the “earth” (where earth can represent our carnal mind). Going to heaven is “above” and does not include any kind of darkness.
But God has promised and instructed us that the kingdom of heaven is something we search for now while we are alive here on earth. The Bible uses the word heaven in different ways. When stories are being told for our carnal understanding and reference, heaven refers to up, as to in the sky. But we first see the carnal meaning and then transform it into a spiritual understanding. Heaven is then no longer up in the sky, but rather up above our current state of mind. There are many places in the Bible that teach us to think of heaven as someplace other than in the sky or something different than just someplace we go after physical death.
The Kingdom Within You
Luke 17: 20-21 And when he was demanded of the Pharisees, when the kingdom of God should come, he answered them and said, The kingdom of God cometh not with observation. Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.
Luke 17:20 clearly says that the kingdom of God is not something seen with “observation”. This word observation means to see by using ocular evidence (physical eyes). Therefore, the coming of the Kingdom is not something we can even see with our physical eyes.
Matthew 4:17 From that time Jesus began to preach, and to say, Repent: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.
We have to look at all the references to the kingdom of heaven. Here in Matthew 4 the Bible begins to teach that we need to “repent” for the kingdom of heaven is “at hand”. The word “repent” needs to be looked at carefully in order for us to know what we need to do to correctly repent. In the Strong’s Concordance the only meaning for this word is to “change your mind”. When you look deeper at the meaning it means to “think differently or reconsider”. It means we need to change our minds, and think differently. Romans 12:2 ..”but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Also in Matthew 4 the Bible teaches that the kingdom of heaven is “at hand”, or is near. Well, the kingdom of heaven is always near to us, especially if it is within us, but we won’t know that or are we able to enter in if we don’t change our minds or change the way we think. The kingdom of God is near and within our reach, if we only repent (change our thinking process). The Bible would not teach us that the kingdom of God is at hand 2000 years ago, if it wasn’t within reach now. So we must be able to enter it here and now. If not, there is no point in teaching it is at hand or in other words it is within our reach now. The kingdom of heaven is a domain where God is Father and in care of us and does everything for us. We are like little children following his lead. We are under his direct rule in his kingdom. We are sheep in his pasture, and many other wonderful things.
Elijah Enters Heaven
The Journey to Jordan
We will now discuss a portion of 2 Kings Chapter 2. Please read all of 2 Kings Chapter 2 before continuing, and have it close by for reference. It is important to read both books of Kings (1 Kings and 2 Kings) for the greater picture and story of Elisha and Elijah and their relationship. There are many other things to be said and spiritual messages to be understood in these books. But for this discussion we are concentrating on 2 Kings Chapter 2 and the incident with the whirlwind and its significance to us.
2Kings 2:1 and it came to pass, when the LORD would take up Elijah into heaven by a whirlwind, that Elijah went with Elisha from Gilgal.
2 Kings 2:2 And Elijah said unto Elisha, Tarry here, I pray thee; for the LORD hath sent me to Bethel. And Elisha said unto him, the LORD liveth, and thy soul liveth, I will not leave thee. So they went down to Bethel.
2Kings 2:3 and 2 Kings 2:5 “knowest thou that the Lord will take way thy master from thy head to day? And he answered, Yea, I know it, hold ye your peace”.
Elisha and Elijah have an interesting relationship. Elisha ministers unto Elijah and it appears that Elijah is Elisha’s master. (this relationship is also described in 1Kings).
It was time in Elisha journey for his master Elijah to be taken into heaven. Three times Elijah tells Elisha to “tarry”. He tells him to tarry at Gilgal (and again at Bethel, and Jericho). This word tarry means to sit down, settle, or abide. Elisha’s physical master tells him to stay where he is at and abide at that place. But Elisha responds by saying that the Lord “liveth” and thy soul liveth and I will not leave thee. Elisha is not ready to settle where is he is at in his journey with his master. Elisha acknowledges that God lives but his soul also lives and wants more than just sitting (non-movement). So he is determined to continue on the journey, the journey of witnessing his master go into heaven. He is not ready to stop at Gilgal, Bethel, or Jericho, each of which represent a step in his journey. At each step, the sons of the prophets remind him that the Lord is going to take away his Master. Deep down he knows his current master is leaving, but still he won’t hear anything about it.
Each stop on the journey represents our own journey in witnessing the progression of our “lord”. Each stop or “city” is important and is worthy of another discussion topic. The words of Elisha’s physical earthly master seem to warn him that he should stop. Elijah seems to be saying, you should really stop here, because the journey I am on is long and hard and you might not be able to bear what is going to happen. However, he dismisses Elijah’s warnings and continues on following Elijah.
1 Kings 2:3 And the sons of the prophets that were at Bethel came forth to Elisha, and said unto him, Knowest thou that the LORD will take away thy master from thy head to day? And he said, Yea, I know it; hold ye your peace.
The sons of the prophets that were at Bethel asked Elisha if he knew that the Lord was going to “take away” his master from his head today. This is an interesting question. These sons are asking Elisha if he knows yet what is happening, that the master that is in his head is being taken away. The word head here doesn’t necessarily mean his physical head but we have used it this way to make a point. Our lead comes from our head which represents what is our leader or our Lord. It is what we understand in our head to be our Lord that matters, because what we hold in our head as our Lord becomes our lead or our guide. Once he went “down” to Bethel (the house of God) be began to have an inkling of what is was going to happen, but he is not quite sure about it and he was not yet ready to comprehend it. So he tells the prophets to be quiet about it (also see John 16:12).
Again, Elijah tells Elisha to tarry at Bethel and then again at Jericho, and the same thing happens, he disagrees and they continue on eventually to Jordan. Before they reach Jordan, Elisha has disagreed with Elijah thrice and Elisha has twice told the sons of the prophets to hold their peace or be silent, but it is not yet time to hear about it. But once they reach Jordan the time has come and Elisha is still following Elijah. Elijah tells Elisha to ask for what he shall do for him (see John 16:23-25) before he is taken away.
The Power of Words
2 Kings 2:9-10 And it came to pass, when they were gone over, that Elijah said unto Elisha, Ask what I shall do for thee, before I be taken away from thee. And Elisha said, I pray thee, let a double portion of thy spirit be upon me. 10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
Elisha asks of Elijah that a double portion of his spirit be upon him. The word for portion in this sentence needs to be looked at carefully because it means, mouth or what comes out of the mouth specifically “edge” or side. It can also mean two-edged. Which is interesting because the word double (two) in also in the sentence. After reading the meaning of this word, it doesn’t seem possible that it can mean a portion as it is being used in the translation. The word has to do with things that come out of the mouth when speaking. After looking at all the usages of this word in the Old Testament, which are many, in other references it is always used as “mouth” or “edge”. We have to be careful when reading scriptures, because the translators may not always translate exactly as it should be. But that is alright, because when we allow the spirit of life to breath into the word the truth of the matter comes out anyway.
Questioning the real meaning of words, as we just did, is similar to what Elisha did when he questioned Elijah’s option to tarry at each stopping point. Maybe the literal word of what Elijah said was wrong but when Elisha remembered life of his true LORD and allowed it to guide him, he was motivated to go where he needed to be. And where he needed to be was watching his master go to heaven.
2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
As the scripture above says, words that are being said may not spell out plainly what we need to really hear and do. There comes a time when we have to look past the literal words of the letter (scriptures) and see what the spirit will tell us that is on the other side of the words. 2 Corinthians above says that the spirit is what gives living understanding to the letter. This could also be reference to what Elisha was doing with Elijah’s words. He denied what he literally heard and rather said, the LORD is alive, and the Lord is Spirit, which moves and breaths life, and there is more under the literal word I need to see. He would not be satisfied with staying put in a comfort zone. He instead continued on to Jordan. He then asked that he have the double portion spirit, which means double edge (edge or mouth) spirit. There are other references in the bible about a double edge. Some are shown below.
Psalm 149:6-7 Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a twoedged sword in their hand; To execute vengeance upon the heathen, and punishments upon the people;
Revelation 1:15-16 And his feet like unto fine brass, as if they burned in a furnace; and his voice as the sound of many waters. 16 And he had in his right hand seven stars: and out of his mouth went a sharp twoedged sword: and his countenance was as the sun shineth in his strength.
The words of God include the use of a double edge. A double edge that comes out of the mouth are words that have two sides where one of the sides can only be heard by those that have ears to hear. When we have the knowledge and understanding of the double workings of the spirit, we have the spirit of the double edge. The double edge holds the truth once both sides are heard and understood. The spirit gives one the “visual focus” needed to see that there are indeed two sides to the sword. One side is literal letter words, and the other side is the spiritual understanding of the words.
Elisha asks for the double spirit and Elijah says that he has asked a hard thing. And this can be understood that the task of giving it to Elijah was difficult for Elisha. Or it can be understood rather that what he has asked for will be grievous to take, and it will be hard for Elisha to do (not Elijah). The word “hard thing” means to “make grievous” and other meanings. But in this case, it wasn’t necessarily hard for Elijah to give Elisha the double spirit, but the getting of the double spirit rather was difficult for Elisha.
2 Kings 2:10 And he said, Thou hast asked a hard thing: nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so.
Elijah informs Elisha that if he “sees” Elijah be taken, then he will get what he has asked for. He will finally understand the double edge of the spirit. This is imperative to listen to and understand. Elisha has to see him go in order to gain the understanding. He has to see and comprehend what is happening when his physical master departs. This was most important, for if Elisha did not see and comprehend the departure of his physical master, he would not gain the double spirit, or what we called the spirit of truth as explained above. In order for him to gain this spiritual understanding he had to comprehend what was happening to his earthly Lord. We need to remember where heaven actually is when we hear the word of God speaking to us in this message.
We have learned previously above that heaven is not in the literal sky, but rather a place within us. Elijah was to depart from Elisha’s consciousness as a physical person and as a physical master into heaven, where heaven is a place within Elisha. This story represents what also happens to each of us if we also choose to continue on the journey with our Lord. This story tells us that the things we see and know do change if we will hear of it, but if we settle into where we are at and not continue on to the next step, we will miss the transformation of our Lord from the physical to the spiritual. And once we “see” it, the double edge spirit will come upon us in the same way.
Elijah Compared to Jesus
Before continuing on with the discussion of Elisha and Elijah in 2 Kings, we will look what we have just learned and compare it to: the disciple’s relationship with Jesus in the gospels, to us today as disciples of Jesus, the story of Jesus, and him as a physical man. After we discuss this relationship we will go back to the story of Elijah and the whirlwind and continue its analysis.
The Physical Man Jesus
Many people have a “Master” in the physical man Jesus that people know and love. People look up to the Jesus they understand in the gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) and understand the physical man Jesus to be THE ONLY PHYSICAL son of God. People worship Jesus the physical man. They know him as their Lord and Master. We understand and know him as a physical person through the gospel stories that we read. By reading the gospels we can experience the physical man Jesus through these stories, just like someone would come to know someone through experience in real life. Some Christians strive to be like the man Jesus they have learned about through the stories.
Most if not all Christians, just like the 12 disciples in the stories did, understand Jesus as a physical man. They think of him as an actual person. That is their relationship with Jesus. People hear and understand the stories about Jesus. They then form their relationship with Jesus based on what they hear in the stories. They form this relationship by visualizing the stories in their minds and by seeing pictures of what Jesus may have looked like. Jesus becomes a very solid picture in our minds and they know him in this way. When we read stories, very vivid images can be implanted in our minds of how the story happened or might have taken place. They are about the same as an actual memory would be. Our minds are very good at creating images and understanding the physical Jesus through the gospels. Some people even have pictures in their homes of what Jesus is to them. Many people keep the relationship with Jesus that was created through the stories in the Gospels their whole lives. They know and understand him by what he did in the stories. Even if people don’t have pictures of Jesus in their homes or churches, an image of him and what he has physically done in the stories is held in their mind. Jesus is a physical man in the minds of many who read the New Testament.
However, the Bible teaches us that this physical Jesus must depart from us if we are to have the “Comforter” and the spirit of God. Some may say, well sure he has already departed long ago, and I already have the “comforter”. Or some may say, well the disciples were the only ones that had to really experience his physical exiting on the cross and then to heaven. But we need to look closely at the Bible and what it means for Jesus to really “go away”, and what the teachings about his going away should mean to us.
John.16:7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away:
The Son of God
John 1:12-13 But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God.
It declares in John 1 above that we can all be the son(s) of God.
John 1:14 And the Word was made flesh, and dwelt among us, (and we beheld his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father,) full of grace and truth.
The “word” is the “only begotten”. “Only begotten” is one word in Hebrew (monogenes) and it means “single in it’s kind, sole child”. The meaning of being the only begotten child simply means that he is the only child of God. But John 1:12 also clearly says that there may be many sons of God. This is not really a contradiction. It simply means that when one is a son of God he is a member of a single entity, a single spirit, who is the son of God. Also the phrase “the Word was made flesh” needs to be looked at. “Was made” is translated into to happen, to come into existence, to appear. It could also be translated that the word happens in the flesh or the word comes into existence in the flesh.
John 1:32-34 32 And John bare record, saying, I saw the Spirit descending from heaven like a dove, and it abode upon him. 33 And I knew him not: but he that sent me to baptize with water, the same said unto me, Upon whom thou shalt see the Spirit descending, and remaining on him, the same is he which baptizeth with the Holy Ghost. 34 And I saw, and bare record that this is the Son of God.
Verse 34 says that John bare record, which means that he is a witness to something that has happened. Or he is baring record of something that he is being taught by divine revelation. He witnessed the Spirit descend and remain on Jesus. And he says that “this” is the Son of God. He could have been referring to the Spirit that he witnessed as being the Son of God, where he said this is the son of God rather than “he” is the son of God. Or the descending of the spirit on the man creates “this” son of God. The “Spirit” descended upon Jesus and remained with him, and it was at that time when the spirit was present on Jesus that John witnessed the Son of God.
1John 3:8-10 For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil. 9 Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him: and he cannot sin, because he is born of God. In this the children of God are manifest.
Here it teaches us that “whosoever” is born of God doth not commit sin and in which the children of God are manifest. Whoever is born of God, becomes sinless and without spot because they are the son of God.
James 1:18 Of his own will begat he us with the word of truth, that we should be a kind of firstfruits of his creatures.
It says that by God’s will he “begat” us. This word here means to “bring forth from the womb, give birth to”. We are born of God and/or we are begotten of God. But there is only one begotten son of God so we must be all one in him.
John 3:3 Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.
John.4:23-24 But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.
When we are begotten of God we are “born again”. If God is a spirit, then when we are born of him, we also become spirit in our true form. And we can then also worship him in spirit and know him in spirit. A son of God is like his father in true form once he is born again; spiritually of course because God is a spirit.
John 9:39 And Jesus said, For judgment I am come into this world, that they which see not might see; and that they which see might be made blind.
We have to be blinded to what we see with our eyes and our carnal minds so that we can truly “see” with our spiritual mind. If we see with our physical eyes and carnal mind we are actually blind to truth. And this judgment that he gives is an understanding that is given us once our spiritual eyes are opened and our carnal eyes are closed or made blind. This judgment that he came into the world for is simply “good judgment” or a deciphering wisdom that we are given. The judgment he comes into the world for is not a horrible verdict or sentence that is given to us as a judge would give to us to repay. It is not even him judging us as good or bad, but rather it is him coming into us. And by coming into us, he thereby gives us the ability to have good judgment, like the light bulb coming on in our mind. These are two very different types of judgment, and they must be distinguished between if we are to understand the real meaning of God’s judgment.
John 10:33-36 The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not; but for blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your law, I said, Ye are gods? If he called them gods, unto whom the word of God came, and the scripture cannot be broken; Say ye of him, whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God?
When the Jews accused Jesus, a man, of making himself God, he did not disagree with them that he made himself like God, and he quickly pointed out that the scriptures themselves testified of that fact and the fact that God called EVERYONE god unto whom the word of God came. If we go back to Psalm 82, one of the scriptures that Jesus was quoting, God is saying that we are gods and we are ALLchildren of the most high. Jesus simply understood his birthright, which was to be the child of God. The Jews wanted to stone him for something their own law proclaimed, because they couldn’t understand this part of the scriptures with their carnal minds. It was because the word of God had not come to them, In other words, they had not the double edge spirit as we spoke of in Kings and Hebrews 4:12. They could not understand that they too had the potential to be the Son of God.
The Going Away of Jesus and the Coming of the Comforter
The book of John is somewhat different than the other three gospels. Among many things that make it different, it talks plainly and in great detail about the necessity of Jesus “going away”. Chapters 8 and 13-16 talk about his “going away” and they also discuss the “Comforter” and how this Comforter is given to us. At first glance it may appear that Jesus is simply foretelling about his physical death on the cross, and that by him saying that he is going away he is implying he is going to die physically and go away. However, let’s look closely at the words in these chapters and see if they really are foretelling about Jesus’s physical death and resurrection, and then study them further to see if there is a more spiritual message within these words which gives us valuable information about how Jesus works in our lives today.
John 8:14 Jesus answered and said unto them, Though I bear record of myself, yet my record is true: for I know whence I came, and whither I go; but ye cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go.
Jesus tells the Jews that they can not decipher where he came from or where he goes. It is out of their comprehension ability. They can only see physically or carnally. They cannot tell because their mind will not allow them to see him as anything but a man. Because they can only see him as the world does, a physical man, that is all they can see their own selves as too. If Jesus was talking about his physical death or physical transportation to heaven up in the sky, he would not have said that they “cannot tell whence I come, and whither I go”. These people understand physical death and can see with their physical eyes. They could have seen him die and fly to heaven, if it was something they could physically see. Therefore, he would not have said that they cannot tell if he was talking about something physical or carnal. The word “tell” here is one of the words used for “see”, which expresses mechanical vision. Again, that is why it says they could not understand it, because it is not at all physical, but spiritual.
John 8:21-24 Then said Jesus again unto them, I go my way, and ye shall seek me, and shall die in your sins: whither I go, ye cannot come. Then said the Jews, Will he kill himself? because he saith, Whither I go, ye cannot come. And he said unto them, Ye are from beneath; I am from above: ye are of this world; I am not of this world. I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins.
They were so deep in their carnal fleshly mindset that they thought he was going to physically kill himself. Killing himself was the only explanation they could find to understand what he was saying. [many who read these scriptures think the same thing] They understood it as a physical death. They did not understand what he was talking about, and Jesus warns them that they cannot go where he goes. And it is not because he is going to die physically. They could die physically; therefore that was not what he was talking about. He goes on to tell them that they are from beneath and he is from above. This is the reason they cannot go with him.
Refer back to our previous discussion above concerning Psalms 139, Proverbs 15, and Luke 16 on how hell is represented as “beneath” and heaven is referred to as above, and how both are places we attend to in the here and now. Jesus is claiming he is from above and they are from “beneath”. Because they are not yet from above, they cannot go where he goes.
Remember what we already talked about earlier in this discussion. John 1:12-13 says that those that “receive him” can be born of God and then be the son of God. Those that receive him can be born from “above”. However, John 8:23 is not contradicting John 1:12 by saying that they were from beneath and Jesus is from above. It does not say in 8:23 that only Jesus is from above. He is saying they cannot go where he goes becausethey are from beneath, or they are from this world, in other words, carnally minded. The reason they are from beneath is because they do not believe the statement “I am”, have not received that truth, and therefore are not born from above.
The word “he” is erroneously added after “I am” in verse 24, which obscures the meaning. It is not saying that “he is the one”, which “I am he” would imply. It is saying, “I am” which means “I abide or exist”.
Where do the other scriptures tell us he exists? John 14:20 says “at that day ye shall know that I in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you”. If we do not believe this than we will die in our sins, not be born of God, not be from above, and never gain our true identity, as John 8 speaks about. And remember, his is talking spiritually. John 6:63…”the words that I speak unto you are spirit, and are life…”.
John 13:32-38 If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
The disciples are also still similar to the Jews in the sense that they cannot yet go with him. Even though they are seeking him, they cannot come where he goes. Notice that the fact that they cannot come is connected to the fact that they are “yet a little while” still with Jesus. In verse 36 Simon questions where he is going and Jesus somewhat beats around the question and answers it in a different way. Jesus does answer, but not by telling him where he is going, but he simply tells him that he cannot go now but will go “afterwards”. The reason he doesn’t tell him where he is going, is because Peter cannot yet understand the answer. This afterwards is referring to something that has to happen before he will be able to follow Jesus, and understand what it means. Now if Jesus is talking about his physical death here, he would be implying he would have to also physically die to follow him. It is somewhat morbid to think that we all have to wait to physically die before we can follow Jesus. John 13:36-38 will be discussed further below, after we discuss John 14.
John 14:3-6 And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also. 4 And whither I go ye know, and the way ye know. 5 Thomas saith unto him, Lord, we know not whither thou goest; and how can we know the way? 6 Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.
John 14 above says Jesus goes away to prepare a place for us. After he has gone away he will come again to receive us into himself. He has to go away, and once he goes away he reappears to us as the way itself. HE IS the way to the Father. And after he goes away, this becomes clear. And after he goes away, we realize this, and we see him as he really is, the way. Therefore, after he goes away, we follow the way, the truth, and the life, rather than the man. John 16:16 “A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me”.
If Jesus was talking about his physical death as the means for his going away, these verses become contradictory and the meaning becomes unclear. In order for the scriptures to truly represent his physical death and resurrection, when he resurrected he would have had to physically take his disciples with him where ever he went after he resurrected. It says “I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also”. When he physically resurrected he should have been able to take his disciples with him to the place he had just prepared, while he was physically gone for that little while. But as the story goes, the disciples stayed on earth and were received unto him and where he went they went also. However, they did not physically follow him anywhere. Jesus does prepare a place, and he does go away to prepare that place. After he is gone, it is a little while, and we are able to follow. But this is a spiritual happening, and it happens today as it did long ago. It is the way these scriptures are logical and not contradictory, and are meaningful for us today.
And again remember, it is absolutely necessary for Jesus to first go away as the scriptures say (John 16:7). When he is gone, he prepares a place for us. Then we are able to abide with him where he has gone.
Some may say it is talking about his return in the future (second coming), but it specifically says “little while”, which specifically means short period of time or space
Now let’s go back and finish the discussion on John 13:36-38. We said that it was somewhat morbid to think we have to wait until we die physically (carnal meaning of when he said “afterwards” in John 13:36) to be able to follow Jesus where he goes. But let’s look at John 13:37. Peter asks Jesus why he can’t follow him NOW. The first thought that may come when we read this is, “well Peter, you can’t follow Jesus because he is going to physically die on the cross, and you will not be able to really die with him because you really don’t love him enough to do so”. Or we might think, “Peter, you are not meant to die with Jesus, he has to die for you instead, and that is just the way it is”. But Peter is so sincere and says he will lay down his life for Jesus. There are many people who are so dedicated to their religion or to their God that they would rather die than lie about their beliefs. But Jesus seems to question Peter’s intentions. Peter is on the right track because it says in John 15:13 “Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. Ye are my friends”. Jesus says that we should lay down our lives for him and all of our friends. So why is Jesus so seemingly sarcastic or doubtful of Peter when he offers up himself? It even says in Romans 12:1 “that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy acceptable unto God, your reasonable service”. But Peter is sincerely asking Jesus why he can’t follow him NOW. We all want to lay down our lives for God, now. But we only think we are ready and we only think we understand what that means. The literal words tell us Jesus does not answer Peter’s question, however, Jesus really does answer Peter’s question of why he can’t follow him now. Remember what it says in John 14:3, he has to go away to prepare that place for us to follow him to. Peter can’t follow him immediately. Once he goes and prepares this place he becomes the way. The question arises in 14:5, how can we know the way. Well, once he goes away he becomes something completely different to us (a spiritual person rather than a fleshly person), he abides in us and that is how he can become the way. He lives in us and guides us every minute in the way because his being is the way and we live in him. We live “the way” when we have Jesus living in us. Jesus tells Peter that the “cock shall not crow” until Peter does a certain thing. What does it spiritually mean to have the “cock crow”? There is very significant meaning in these words about the cock crowing. The Bible is a living document and none of it should be disregarded as insignificant. The literal words here are telling us that long ago Jesus was foretelling the future, saying that Peter would refuse to admit he knew Jesus three times and then a rooster would crow. Is the meaning of these scriptures for us simply that Jesus is telling Peter, you know what, you really don’t love me enough? Well the scriptures tell us that Peter really did love Jesus, and we have to look past the literal words to know what Jesus is really telling Peter, but more importantly, what these words mean for us today. Our minds have to change the way we understand the words in order to see the truth. The cock crowing is symbolic of our “wake up call”. What does a rooster do when the sun arises? We are looking for the rising of the day star, we are waiting for the dawn of day. Rom 13:11 “knowing the time that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now our salvation nearer than when we believed.” 1Cr 15:34 “Awake to righteousness and sin not, for some have not the knowledge of God” Eph 5:14 “Awake thou that sleepest and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light”. 2Peter 1:18-19 “And this voice which came from heaven we heard when we were with him in the holy mount. We have also a more sure word of prophecy; whereunto ye do well that ye take heed, as unto a light that shineth in a dark place, until the day dawn, and the day star arise in your hearts.”
We will not get the alarm that we need to awake to Christ if we do not deny the old man and put on the new. We need something to wake us from the dead. God gives us that alarm, but we must put on the new and let the old vanish away. And affirm that we no longer acknowledge the old. 1Cor 5:7 “Purge out therefore the old leaven, that ye may be a new lump, as ye are unleavened.” 2Cor5:17 “Therefore if any man in Christ a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” Hebrews 8:13 “A new he hath made, the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old ready to vanish away.” Luke 5:36-39And he spake also a parable unto them; No man putteth a piece of a new garment upon an old; if otherwise, then both the new maketh a rent, and the piece that was taken out of the new agreeth not with the old. And no man putteth new wine into old bottles; else the new wine will burst the bottles, and be spilled, and the bottles shall perish. But new wine must be put into new bottles; and both are preserved. No man also having drunk old wine straightway desireth new: for he saith, The old is better. This last verse in Luke 5 is interesting, it even says that we will not right away desire the new, but will be drawn back to the old. It is a struggle to let go of the old and put on the new.
Peter has to deny Jesus. In other words Peter has to affirm or admit that he really doesn’t know Jesus truly as he should. When he does this he will get his wake up alarm and awake to the new. This at first sounds horrible, and most, if not all, people when they read this about Peter think he has done something wrong. But these scriptures are written to confound us if, we are quick to judge and condemn others. Are we condemning Peter? We had better not; else we will loose the real message, because Peter is actually getting specific instructions from Jesus. And we can see this is we change our way of thinking. We can look at Jesus’ response as a condemnation to Peter or we can look at it as real answer to his question, and as being guidance and instruction to Peter. Knowing the story and Peter and Jesus’ close relationship through the gospels, it would seem only fair that Jesus would be continuing to guide Simon Peter to where he needs to be rather than foretelling of his failures. The nature of Jesus is love not condemnation. Peter is told before his wake up call will sound he will deny thrice. Peter must admit that he does not truly know Jesus as he should. He must deny his former relationship with Jesus. 2Cor.5:16 “Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” We have to mindfully acknowledge and affirm that we can no longer know Jesus as we used to which is after the flesh. We have to NO MORE know or understand Jesus as flesh. We need to put away the old and grasp the new. But we can’t know the know the new until we have put away the old. If we try to understand him BOTH ways (through the flesh and through the spirit), our “bottles will burst”, and we loose it all.
Elisha Also Denies Elijah Three Times
We need go back and remember what Elisha did three times to Elijah. He denied what was being said and remembered what he already knew to be true about the Lord, that he is alive, and then continued on his journey. The word deny in John 13:38 means to “utterly deny”. And the dictionary’s meaning for the word deny is this: to state that something (declared or known to be truth) is not true. It means that we ourselves decide something other people may think is true, to be not true. This is so very important. Elisha decided that the declaration coming from his physical earthly master was false. He denied (disagreed) with what he said and used his knowledge about what it means to be alive to press himself on. He denied the words that came out of his mouth (which are the words that our physical ears hear), and in doing so, he went on to hear with his spiritual ears to gain the spirit of truth.
The Spiritual Jesus
John 14:9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?
Jesus was long time with them, yet they still do not know him as they should. That is because as long as they continue to know him as a physical person (in the flesh), it is impossible to know him spiritually. Remember, it doesn’t work both ways. It says that those disciples that have truly “seen” (understand, not to see with the physical eyes) Jesus hath “seen” the Father. John 4:24 says that God (the Father) is a spirit, so if we want to truly “see” and understand the son of God we must understand him in the same manner. It is impossible to see God with our human physical eyes because he is a spirit. We must see and understand Jesus, the son of God, in the same way.
John 14:16-17 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.
The spirit of truth (who the world cannot receive) lives in us. Jesus goes away, and he becomes the way, the truth, and the life. Jesus is the spirit of truth that lives in us. Many people in the world cannot “receive” this spirit of truth because it impossible to look at, which makes it impossible for those who are carnally minded to comprehend. The Spirit of truth will dwell in you and not be something outside of you.
John 14:19-23 Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him. Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words: and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.
After that “little while”, we will truly see Jesus and realize that he should be known in the spirit. We will then finally really understand that he IS in the Father, who is spirit, and we also are in him because his spirit lives in us. At that same time we will realize that the world really doesn’t see or know Jesus [as it should], even though it thinks it does. At that time in our lives, Jesus truly manifests himself to us, which is not something we understand physically. If it were something that manifests physically, all the world would be able to see. But is says that the world will not see. We will come to understand that the world, as we physically understand it, can not ever see Jesus with the human eyes. The “world” can not see the same Jesus that the disciples who love him do. This is because the world, as used in the Bible, has is own system of operation, which is carnal.
John 14:24-26 He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me. These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.
2Cor.5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
We hear and understand the things Jesus says one way when we understand and know him by the flesh, or as a physical man. We hear and play out the teachings in our minds, but when we have the Comforter, we will remember all the teachings we heard and finally truly understand them the way they were meant to be understood all along, which is spiritually. It will be an aha moment. And this will help us to be taught all things.
This is why and how Elisha denied Elijah and did not do what he heard with his physical carnal ears. He had to use his spiritual understanding the read between the literal lines of what Elijah was actually saying and telling him to do.
John 14 27-29 Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe.
Again, these words of Jesus are for us today and not for a history lesson. That is why these words are written for us in the wonderful book of John. He is telling us that he has to go away in order for us to have the Comforter. However, until we let go of the following: our fear of change, our fear of being wrong about something, the pride of our “beliefs”, what the world (or everyone else) believes, our fear being different than what everyone else believes, we will not get the Spirit of truth. We clasp onto the Jesus we know, just as the disciples in the story, being afraid to let go, being afraid to release the old things that we know. Being afraid of being wrong, being sure we already know it all, being adamant that we cannot and will not let him go, are what these scriptures are telling us to re-evaluate. It is difficult to let go of old ways of thinking or understanding. And when we finally do let go of the old and see the new, we cry and morn for many indescribable reasons. Peter wept bitterly after he denied Jesus. We should not be afraid to let go of the physical Jesus that we know. The true spiritual Jesus is able to “come unto you”, once your mind lets go of the old. We cannot have both at the same time. We cannot put the old wine into the new bottle. Revelations 3:16 says “So because thou are lukewarm and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth”. We cannot say we have the spiritual Jesus until we no longer have the physical Jesus. These scriptures in John are very long and explanatory, and there is very good reason for this. These scriptures teach us the process that we must go through to fully understand who Jesus is and how we too can gain this Spirit of truth. Remember 1 Corinthians 8:2. “And if any man think that he knoweth anything, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know.” We always have need for growth in understanding and how we ought to know things. And it also says that once we do what we need to do and think how we need to think, we will know it is the way because we were told about how it would happen before it did. Before it happens to us, we will not understand what the scripture means. But after it happens to us, it will be brought to our remembrance, and it will confirm what has happened. It is like when someone gives you directions to a destination. You recognize the previously described landmarks along the way once you are on the right path. And once you pass the landmarks you know you are heading the right way. These scriptures are telling us what will happen to us, once we are following the way. We will then go back to what was already said in the scriptures, and understand it and know it to be true because we have experienced it for ourselves.
“Hard to Take” Teachings
John.15:26-27 But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: 27And ye also shall bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning.
The comforter is a “Spirit of truth”. It is what tells us what the truth is. And the Bible tells us that this spirit lives within us once we allow the physical Jesus to go away and let him be like the Father who is Spirit. Jesus becomes us and lives in us once our understanding of Jesus as a physical man “goes away” from our minds. Once we see Jesus the same as the Father, who is a Spirit, he can then send us the truth and also bear witness of the true Jesus. To “bear witness” means from Strong’s Concordance, that “we also affirm” that we have “seen or heard” Jesus, by “divine revelation”. Just like in Matthew 16 below, Simon Peter could not tell that Jesus was Christ by understanding him through the flesh [or carnal based stories or happenings that are have their settings in the Bible]. He could only understand who Jesus is by hearing the Spirit.
Matthew 16:16-17 And Simon Peter answered and said, Thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God. And Jesus answered and said unto him, Blessed art thou, Simon Barjona: for flesh and blood hath not revealed it unto thee, but my Father which is in heaven.
John.16 1-4 These things have I spoken unto you, that ye should not be offended. They shall put you out of the synagogues: yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth you will think that he doeth God service. And these things will they do unto you, because they have not known the Father, nor me. But these things have I told you, that when the time shall come, ye may remember that I told you of them. And these things I said not unto you at the beginning, because I was with you.
The word “offended” here in verse 1 means to be caused to fall away from the truth. These teachings are hard to take, but they are given to us so that we will know the truth, The world does not have the truth to give us. These teachings may be against main stream religious belief, but they are meant to guide us to truth. These truths are so unorthodox that people will cast you out of their synagogues (excommunicate) and think you are evil (want to kill) for even suggesting such a teaching. In fact, years ago, it was not unusually for people to be literally killed for believing something the “church” didn’t teach. And they truly thought they were doing God service by getting rid of such teachings and the people who taught it. And as it says in John 16:4 above, these truths are not told to or cannot be heard by those who are still with the physical Jesus.
John.16 5-7 But now I go my way to him that sent me; and none of you asketh me, Whither goest thou? 6 But because I have said these things unto you, sorrow hath filled your heart. 7 Nevertheless I tell you the truth; It is expedient for you that I go away: for if I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send him unto you.
The only way they could get the Comforter or spirit of truth was if Jesus went away. This is very contradictory to thought. You would think that those that had Jesus in their presence would have easy access to truth. But it was the very opposite. Jesus had to go away for them to gain the truth. This is how the story tells it, this is significant, and it is no accident that this whole chapter was written. It was written for us TODAY. He says that only after the perfect time comes and he goes away will they remember and understand what he is talking about here. They will only understand what he says in perfect time. He also says here that it will be very sorrowful (hard to take), but nevertheless, “I tell you the truth”.
John 16:8-12 And when he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: Of sin, because they believe not on me; Of righteousness, because I go to my Father, and ye see me no more; Of judgment, because the prince of this world is judged. I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now.
This spirit of truth or Comforter is what reproves the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment. It is not the physical Jesus being present (in our lives or in our minds), but rather this Spirit of Truth that we all need. This teaching is for all disciples to gain righteousness. And we only gain this after Jesus goes away. Jesus says there are many things to say, be we cannot bear them now. This can be compared to Elisha telling the sons of the prophets to hold their peace and be quiet about it, because he was not yet ready to bear the news. We have to be ready to hear the news or we will not understand or believe it. It is our minds natural process to shut it out until we are ready.
John 16:13-19 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. He shall glorify me: for he shall receive of mine, and shall shew it unto you. All things that the Father hath are mine: therefore said I, that he shall take of mine, and shall shew it unto you. A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to the Father. Then said some of his disciples among themselves, What is this that he saith unto us, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me: and, Because I go to the Father? They said therefore, What is this that he saith, A little while? we cannot tell what he saith. Now Jesus knew that they were desirous to ask him, and said unto them, Do ye inquire among yourselves of that I said, A little while, and ye shall not see me: and again, a little while, and ye shall see me?
It says that a little while and ye shall not see me, and again, a little while, and ye shall see me, because I go to my Father. The Greek word used for the first “see” is theoreo which means to look at as a spectator would (to look at something as a person who looks at something outside themselves). So when Jesus goes away to the Father we will not be able to see him as a spectator would as someone looking AT something. The second Greek word “see” in verse 16 “ and ye shall seeme” is optanomai which’s meaning is much deeper. It means to look at with amazement and awe or behold. And we can only see Jesus in this second way because he is with the Father. So once Jesus goes to the Father we do not see him as a spectator would but they see him with amazement or as beholding. It is an awe inspiring seeing. Again as it says, we see him in this different way because he “goes to the Father”, who is spirit. It is a new way of looking at and understanding Jesus. But we must remember that it takes little time or a little while. We have to go through this process of letting go, waiting for the answers, and then getting understanding when the time is right. It does take a little time, but it a process we can all go through individually
Remember what Elijah told Elisha in 2 Kings 2:10. He told him that the double spirit would be upon him if he saw him [go to heaven]. He warned him it would be difficult. He had to first see him in a natural, physical sense, and then after he no longer saw him in that way, he would truly see him as he should. He had to see and understand the transformation, and that ability to see the transformation is what gives him the spirit of truth, the ability to comprehend and speak the double mouth spirit. He can see it both ways and knows only one way (spiritually seeing) is truth.
John 16:20-22 Verily, verily, I say unto you, That ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice: and ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. 21 A woman when she is in travail hath sorrow, because her hour is come: but as soon as she is delivered of the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. And ye now therefore have sorrow: but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.
And Jesus explains that at first you will be sad, but after you behold me after I am with the Father your sadness will be turned to joy. It can be very painful to let go of something we have loved and cherished so long. It is against our natural mind. People usually cling on to what they know and have been taught, but it is imperative to look beyond what our natural mind tells us it truth and allow the previous things we have learned and know, to go to the Father and transform from natural to spiritual. Understanding it in the spiritual sense will give us truth. This is the ability of the double mouth. It is spoken in the natural sense, but is interpreted in the spiritual sense.
The little while can be variable for each person. There is a period of time when we admit to God that we don’t know the answers, and we just don’t know if everything we have been taught by tradition is truth. But if we ask for wisdom and guidance with a sincere open heart with no pride and with no answers we think we already have, and with humility of ignorance, Christ will show us the truth and that little while will be over soon enough. Then we will be given the Comforter. Our pain will turn to joy. But we must come with a clean mind ready for the words of the Spirit of Truth. James 1:5 “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all liberally, and upbraideth not, and it shall be given him.”
John 16:23-25 And in that day ye shall ask me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he will give it you. 24 Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. 25 These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.
Jesus tells us that he is speaking in proverbs (dark sayings/parables). He comes right out and says that it is a parable, which means it is not as it seems and there is more to it than simply the literal words. Therefore, he is not speaking plainly about himself. The first natural thing that comes to mind, as the Jews tell us in Chapter 8, is that he is going to die physically. But a proverb means a dark saying that shadows forth some didactic truth, or a symbolic/figurative saying. A proverb is usually not easy to decode, and the first thing that it means to our carnal minds needs to be transformed into the real spiritual truth. When we first read this we think that he is simply taking about his historical death and him going physically to his Father in heaven. But as we have shown, when we view these teachings as simply Jesus foretelling of his physical death, we loose the important message for us today. The ploy of simply saying that he is talking of his physical death is the carnal way of viewing these scriptures, and as it says, we need to view it rather as a parable.
It is important to understand that we, as his disciples, need listen to the essential instructions that Jesus gave in John 16 regarding our relationship with him. We need to read the scriptures as if Jesus is speaking directly to us. The word of God is alive and timeless and every part of it applies to us today.
2Tim.3:16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:
2 Timothy 3 says that ALL scriptures are for us to read and take to heart and do, just as it was for people throughout the ages. If we do that, we can then transform our carnal relationship with Jesus into a spiritual one. Those instructions say it is “expedient” that we allow Jesus to “go away”.
Phil.3:3 For we are the circumcision, which worship God in the spirit, and rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh.
2Cor.5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
We first understand and come to know Jesus by the Bible stories that we hear about him, but if we are to gain the Comforter, the Spirit of truth (John 16:13), we must understand that the relationship from which we know him after the flesh has to change and we can no more know him or see him after the flesh. The stories are for us the gain the initial natural (carnal) understanding that must later be changed to a spiritual one. This can be hard to bear as it says in John 16:12, and it is impossible to understand if it is the wrong time for us and we are not yet ready. But as it says, it is an essential process for us to go through in order to gain the spirit of truth. So we should not settle in our current understandings, but rather keep pushing on in our journey to witness our “master” be “taken” from our head, just as Elisha does in 2 Kings 2.
From Carnal to Spiritual
If we now know Christ after the flesh then we need to learn that we “henceforth” should know him no longer after the flesh. Once the carnal Jesus “goes away” (taken from our head), we will gain the “Comforter” which guides us and lives in us, rather than being a person outside of us. This transformation (from natural to spiritual) of our comprehension of Jesus is essential to our ability to see and understand the mysteries of the scriptures. Christ is then no longer a natural person outside of us. But Christ is a spiritual person that lives in us, and we become a member of Christ. Christ outside of us does not mix with the Christ in us. As new wine should be put into new bottles so are we to put new teachings into a new mind. All of the old way of understanding and thinking must be put away for the mysteries to be revealed. From the scriptures referenced above, it seems to be necessary for us first see Jesus as a spectator would with a natural carnal mind. Then Jesus changes into Christ within when we are ready to “bear” it, and when we are ready to see the scriptures with a new mind. This can be a very difficult thing to take for most followers of the historical man Jesus. It is difficult to let go of him as we know him. It is difficult to take. Letting is difficult for our ego mind but is a spiritual awakening for our mind at the same time. When we realize that the physical Lord we see with our eyes needs to (when we are ready) be understood as a spiritual Lord, we see the mystery that was hidden from us and we gain the power of Christ. “To whom God would make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles; which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.”
Saying that we have to let go of what we think to be truth in order to gain truth can create skepticism and questions. Why is it essential to learn something in an earthly natural way and then have to let it go at some point? All things in the Bible are truth, and truth is truth right? Why do we first need to understand things carnally or naturally so that they can be transformed into something completely different? What is the purpose of the stories is they are not all literally true? Why can’t Bible stories be literally true and also be spiritually true at the same time? Does God want to confuse us or what?
We are fleshly humans with a soul, but also with the capacity of the spirit of God to dwell in us. Before we can have the spirit of truth or the spirit of Christ awakened in us, our human carnal minds have to first understand everything through the natural carnal mind. Natural or carnal stories are the only way our mind can even begin to understand the things of God The Bible tells us that this is the way the words of God teach us. This is his way of doing it, because it is the only way we have a chance at taking that first bite of the spiritual.
Romans 7:14 For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.
It states clearly that the written law is really a spiritual law not to be understood by the carnal mind.
Romans 8:6 For to be carnally minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.
When we understand a story in the carnal sense with our carnal natural mind it brings death, if we continue viewing it this way. Understanding something carnally means to understand something externally as by human experience. It is when we allow our mind to begin to see it spiritually (internally, or the spirit or soul within us) can it bring us life.
1 Corinthians 2:7 But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory:
The wisdom of God is spoken as a mystery in the Bible. It blatantly says that the word speaks wisdom in a hidden fashion (mystery). So the truth cannot be clearly seen by external experience. So the literal easy to understand story is not the truth or wisdom of God. The literal story is the carnal fleshly played out story that is understood with the carnal mind. This scripture tells us that the wisdom of God is the part of the story that is hidden, where the non-hidden part is the part that is easy for our carnal mind to understand.
1 Corinthians 2:10-14 But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him? even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the spirit which is of God; that we might know the things that are freely given to us of God. Which things also we speak, not in the words which man's wisdom teacheth, but which the Holy Ghost teacheth; comparing spiritual things with spiritual. But the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness unto him: neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.
The things of God are only understood by the Spirit of God. These scriptures above tell us that we must have the Spirit of God within us to understand the deep hidden things of God in the scriptures. Our natural mind cannot see the things of God by reading the natural literal story. So any person reading the scripture cannot understand the things of God within them unless they have the Spirit of God within them. This tells us that both the natural or external understanding and the spiritual understanding cannot both be true. Only the spiritual side is truth. Remember, that the carnal understanding brings death [spiritual death]. If we bring all these scriptures together and look closely at what they are telling us, we begin to see that the literal side cannot be true.
1 Corinthians 3:1-2 And I, brethren, could not speak unto you as unto spiritual, but as unto carnal, even as unto babes in Christ.I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able.
It is saying here that he cannot speak (or write) spiritually because the people reading it are not yet able to bear the spiritual. So he has to speak and write carnally so that their carnal minds are able hear the carnal or natural side of the message. Only after they hear it carnally or in a natural sense (story or parable form) can they have a chance of transforming the milk (carnal words or natural story) into the spiritual form later, once the Spirit of Truth is in them, hence ready to bear it. Once the Spirit of Truth is upon them, all things they have previously read will come to remembrance (see John 14:26) and they will then understand the spiritual truth within the words that they had previously read literally.
So why is the Bible written this way? Again, it is because we are carnal and born in sin. So it is the only way God has a chance of getting through to us. It can be perplexing and paradoxal. But the Bible itself tells of itself. However, we have to read it carefully and with a clean open mind to see these precious clues within it.
1 Corinthians 15:46 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.
Again, the sequential steps of learning the mysteries of God are first the natural and then the spiritual. The scriptures themselves tell us that this is the way, where the natural transforms into the spiritual.
2 Corinthians 3:6 Who also hath made us able ministers of the new testament; not of the letter, but of the spirit: for the letter killeth, but the spirit giveth life.
The whole chapter 3 of 2 Corinthians discusses the letter that is veiled. These chapters need to be read carefully. When people read the stories of the Bible, the real message within the story is not easily seen because it is veiled within the letter. Until we have the Spirit Christ alive in us, the message in the letter is veiled. The veiled letter itself will bring death, if it is read without understanding. A veiled letter is a narrative that uses the natural viewpoint of life to veil the spiritual truth within.
Romans 1:20-23 For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man…[please note that the word for “Because that” in Romans 1:21 can be read as “on this account, that”, or “because of this”]
Romans 1 is saying that the invisible things of God are understood by the things that are made. In other words, the invisible things are understood by understanding the things that are visible (natural) by nature. Remember that God is Spirit and therefore is invisible to the carnal mind or our natural eyes. And these scriptures continue on to say that because of this fact, the fact that “the invisible God is understood by the natural things made”, people get easily confused and have a tendency to glorify God and think of God as a corruptible man (a human being). We are made able to understand God by the natural things made; since that is all we humans can comprehend until we have the Spirit of God. And because the way to understanding God is through the natural things made, the natural mind is easily put into err about God. The natural mind has a predisposition to think what it imagines about God is God. God is not to be understood AS a man or is he to be made into an image like man. Man was made in the image of God (spirit), however, it doesn’t say God was not made in the image of a natural man (human). So man’s true image is a spirit, like God. But humans have a difficult time understanding this because we have a natural mind so we think God does too. Because we have a natural corruptible mind we become vain in ourselves and think God must be something similar to our natural image, the image of corruptible man or an earthly creature.
This is why we need to be very careful on how we view Jesus. Have we made the incorruptible Son into an image made like to corruptible man? If so, we need to let that view or understanding “go away” from our head, so our minds are renewed to the truth.
Romans 1 warns us that we need to be very careful in our utilization of the visible things to understand the invisible things of God. We cannot get stuck halfway to the finish line in our understanding and knowing of God and profess ourselves wise in what is really foolish. God only uses the natural things of this world to help us begin to understand the Spirit that he is. However, there is a transformation in between, and we cannot get stuck in the carnal understanding.
Understanding the Parable by
Letting Go of the Literal
The Bible is full of parables. This is God’s method of teaching us. But we have to acknowledge this and see it this way, or we will never grow in truth. The old must pass away. 1 Corinthians 15:46” Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual.” The developmental process of God’s teachings is first the natural understanding then the spiritual. The Bible even plainly mentions allegories to help us understand that the Bible teaches concepts through allegories. Galatians 4:24 Which things are an allegory: for these are the two covenants; the one from the mount Sinai, which gendereth to bondage, which is Agar. An allegory is a story that is told concretely to portray something abstractly. Parables or allegories are used throughout the Bible. And only people with spiritual ears to hear can interpret them. That is because God is spirit and the human mind is carnal, and that is the truth. God has to use natural stories in order to get across a message to our carnal mind. Then we must let go of the carnal interpretation once we hear the spiritual message within it. But to hear the message within it we must change our thought process.
Matthew 13:10-11And the disciples came, and said unto him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given.
There is a noteworthy purpose and reason for the allegories and parables in the words of God. We have to be transformed and have the spirit of truth to understand the spiritual message. I suppose you could say, we have to be a member of God’s club to understand the secret code. One has to be and think spiritually to gain the spirit of truth. It is a transformation of our minds.
Jesus Compared Back to Elijah
Now we go back to the story of Elijah and the whirlwind and continue its analysis and comparison to our renewed understanding of Jesus and his going away. Please have 2 Kings Chapter 2 close for reference.
2 Kings 2:10-12 …nevertheless, if thou see me when I am taken from thee, it shall be so unto thee; but if not, it shall not be so. And it came to pass, as they still went on, and talked, that, behold, there appeared a chariot of fire, and horses of fire, and parted them both asunder; and Elijah went up by a whirlwind into heaven. And Elisha saw it, and he cried, My father, my father, the chariot of Israel, and the horsemen thereof. And he saw him no more: and he took hold of his own clothes, and rent them in two pieces.
Elisha saw his master go, which means he was awake and aware of what was going on. He was well aware of the changes that were taking place with the master he had known. He saw and understood the changes that were happening before his very mind’s eye. And that was what was key to him gaining the Spirit. He had to witness the exiting of his physical master into Heaven. He wasn’t just going with the wind being tossed to and fro; he comprehended the situation that was taking place. He was separated from his earthly master by God, and then his master was taken from him. His whole world was turned up side down. It upset him. The chariot of fire and horses of fire “parted them both asunder”. This Godly force drove them apart, it separated them so they were no longer together. This separation event was absolutely necessary so that the physical master could be taken away from Elisha. Elisha’s world was disrupted and in the storm and he beheld his master’s transformation, where the storm took him to heaven [the storm took him, not the chariot]. The chariot and horsemen represent warriors that fight for us. But they are indeed our “Father” in heaven and his angels. The meaning of horsemen is cavalry or strong warriors, and the meaning of chariot is a vehicle (means of going) or cavalry team and the fire is consuming. They represent warriors that destroy and separate us from the carnal understanding (physical master) that we think we need. They separate us from our fleshly attachments that we think are our true masters. They help to separate us from our carnal understanding. They are the glory of God that is our strength and power in our internal war. Once the power of God begins to separate us from our earthly Lord, or in other words, we are separated from the natural understanding of our Lord, our carnal understanding is transformed into a spiritual understanding. Our natural master is transported to “heaven”, where heaven is within us. One will know when it begins to happen. It is a fight. And once it takes place within a person, tears will come, and it is a very emotional time, just as it was for Elisha.
Throughout the Psalms, God is shown to fight on our behalf, and in Psalm 68 he is said to have chariots. The chariots and horsemen are doing battle in heaven for us and they were on fire. God can also be a consuming fire, therefore, these chariots represent the power of God.
Hebrews 12: 29 For our God is a consuming fire.
Only the spiritual power of God can separate us from our physical religious attachments. It can be very hard to take and upsetting to our minds. But when we do so, we rend our own protective clothing and put on the mantel of God.
John 14:12 Verily, verily I say unto you, he that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also, and greater than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.
Not only does our natural Master have to depart from us and go to the Father for us to have the Spirit of Truth, but we have to bear witness of it as it says in John 15:26 –27 “whom I will send unto you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: and ye shall also bear witness, because ye have been with me from the beginning”. We can only “see” Jesus go to the Father and bear witness (by the spirit of truth) of him going to the Father in heaven, if we have been with Jesus from the beginning. We have first known him in the flesh (the beginning), and then be graduated on from knowing him in the flesh to witnessing him be taken from us and being translated spiritually into heaven. It is all part of our natural learning and growing process. The learning process is meant to happen this way. We just have to be strong enough to allow our mind to change (from the carnal to the spiritual), which is the meaning of repent. If we believe as we witness him going to heaven, the works that we do shall be greater than the works that we have previously comprehended him to do. This also happened to Elisha, he had more power than even he knew Elijah to have [as he formerly understood him].
1 Cor 15:46 “Howbeit that not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual”.
Remember again in John 13:36, Jesus told Simon Peter that “afterwards” you shall follow me. Only after he admitted he didn’t know Jesus [as he should], did he get the wake up call that would transform his understanding from the carnal to the spiritual. After the transformation he was able to truly “follow” Jesus.
Matthew 16:24 Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me.
Again this word “deny” is used again. This word here in Matthew is the same word used in John 13:38 where Jesus tells Peter that the cock would not crow until he has denied him. We have to deny ourselves and admit that we need to understand our true identity. We are also spiritual beings, and the son(s) of God. That is our true image, the image of the heavenly. When we allow our carnal fleshly mind to control our thoughts and actions we are not following God’s lead. We need to deny what we have come to know [about ourselves and the world] and follow the spirit of truth.
2 Corinthians 5:16 Wherefore henceforth know we no man after the flesh: yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.
It also says throughout the gospels, “whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall save it. We have to take up our own cross (carnally way goes away) and follow Christ (spiritual way comes alive). We have to give up a part what we think our life is supposed to be and allow Christ to arise in us. This is the way to true happiness and peace, and we realize that once we allow God to live in us. It is difficult to do unless that carnal mind of ours is put to “death” and we allow the spiritual mind to live. It can be quite disrupting and upsetting at first. But we have to separate ourselves from our erroneous somewhat traditional beliefs. And it can be a fight and we need the “chariot and horsemen” to fight for our spiritual side.
Leaving Our Traditional Principals
Hebrews 6:1 Therefore leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, Of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment. And this will we do, if God permit. For it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, and have tasted of the heavenly gift, and were made partakers of the Holy Ghost, And have tasted the good word of God, and the powers of the world to come, If they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance; seeing they crucify to themselves the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.
The above scripture is a continuation of the previous chapter which talks about the word of God being milk and meat. [Please see our previous document on Emanuel eating butter and honey.] But it goes on to say that those that use meat in the word will leave the traditional principles of Christ and go on to perfection. So what principles of Christ are we to leave? It says here all the beginning basic principles that we hold so dear and think are important. It sounds like heresy, but this is what the Bible says we need to do in order to go on to perfection. But we can only do this if God permits us to. His angels (messengers) will separate us from those carnal principles when we are ready.
2 Corinthians 6: 16 And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you,
Each one of us is the temple of God if we allow him to abide in us. His temple is not some building or PERSON outside of us. An idol is anything that we put in place of the true God, whether it be a physical thing we see in our mind from history or a physical thing we can touch now, both are idols of the true God who is spirit. When we put aside our carnal mind, we can begin to allow God to abide in us. However, we have to separate ourselves from these carnal things.
2 Kings 16-18 And they said unto him, Behold now, there be with thy servants fifty strong men; let them go, we pray thee, and seek thy master: lest peradventure the Spirit of the LORD hath taken him up, and cast him upon some mountain, or into some valley. And he said, Ye shall not send. And when they urged him till he was ashamed, he said, Send. They sent therefore fifty men; and they sought three days, but found him not. And when they came again to him, (for he tarried at Jericho,) he said unto them, Did I not say unto you, Go not?
After Elijah went to heaven, there were many people that did not believe it. They urged Elisha to go back and make sure what he witnessed was real. They tried to convince him that he was wrong and his physical master was still to be found in the earthly realm. Elisha second guessed what he witnessed because all the other people could not believe or understand it. Three days Elisha waited for the final word, and just like he first knew and witnessed. His physical master was no longer a physical master. He had gone to the Father and was now his Comforter and spirit of truth. But it did take three days of searching and searching. But he was dead as he formerly knew him and only after three days did he finally say, “I told you so”. That was when he was also completely convinced in his own mind of what he witnessed. 2 Kings 16-18 is explaining what too will happen to us after we witness our Lord translate to heaven within. Others will not be able to see it and will try to convince you otherwise.
John 2: Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up…. But he spake of the temple of his body.
We must take up our cross (Matthew 6:24). The body of Christ must become the spiritual being that it is. In three days (remember not literal) we realize that Jesus has gone to the Father who is spirit, and we no longer know him after the flesh, but we know him as a spirit. When we become a member of the body of Christ, we gain that Spirit, the spirit of truth.
1 Cor 15:46-49 Howbeit that was not first which is spiritual, but that which is natural; and afterward that which is spiritual. The first man is of the earth, earthy: the second man is the Lord from heaven. As is the earthy, such are they also that are earthy: and as is the heavenly, such are they also that are heavenly. And as we have borne the image of the earthy, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly. Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.
I Corinthians 15 would be contradictory to the story about Elijah entering heaven as a flesh and blood person, if the story is read literally. But it is not a contradiction, so we need to search the scriptures until the contradictions are gone. Elijah was born of the image of the earthly (natural), when in Elisha’s mind he was his earthly carnal master. But once Elisha understood the need for the transformation of the natural to the spiritual, Elijah then bore the image of the heavenly (spiritual). When we look at the story spiritually, this seemly apparent contradiction (between 1 Cor 15 and 2 Kings 2) vanishes. The flesh and blood Elijah did not physically go up into the sky to some heaven in the clouds of the storm. If he did, that would contradict 1 Corinthians 15:49. Those things that once were born into the carnal or earthly understanding must be transformed into the image of the heavenly. This story gives us a pattern of what we must do with our own carnal master. We must witness our natural master change from being born of the image of the earthly to bearing the image of the heavenly (spirit). When we do this, we realize we also bear the image of the heavenly, and become a member of that family.
Luke 24:51 And it came to pass, while he blessed them, he was parted from them, and carried up into heaven.
May God bless you and give you the spirit of truth to understand the scriptures.
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